Yoga and Ayurveda

Yoga and Ayurveda Practices to Protect our Nervous Systems in the High Tech Era

By Vamadeva Shastri - 4.11 2020


Today we are spending large amounts of time daily in front of computer screens, cell phones, other electrical items or an electrified urban environment. In the process we are exposing ourselves to powerful artificial electrical energies on many levels. This may be a necessary hazard in the information technology era, heightened by the pandemic lockdown. But it has significant physical and psychological side-effects.
          How do we compensate for these higher tech electrical energies that can disturb our nervous systems as well as our mind and emotions? Here Yoga and Ayurveda have much to offer. Ayurveda helps protect our bodily energies through right care of the body and appropriate daily life style, balancing our doshas, improving vitality and immunity. Yoga aims to calm the mind by relaxing the body, deepening the prana, turning the senses within, and promoting meditation, silence and transcendence.
A few simple remedies below to follow.

PROPER HYDRATION

Make sure to take adequate water and liquids throughout the day and never allow yourself to dehydrate. This weakens our immune system and circulation. Best liquids  include fruit juices of all types and coconut water but taken at room temperature with a little ginger, mint or tulsi. Herbal teas like tulsi, sage, mint, ginger, turmeric, cloves and cardamom, particularly sipped warm regularly during the day are very helpful. Green or jasmine tea or Indian chai tea with spices are good. Nervine teas like brahmi (hydrocotyle or bacopa), particularly with a small amount of calamus (vacha) or ginger powder is very good. Brahmi ghee taken in warm milk with turmeric is also good, can aid in sleep if taken with a little nutmeg as well.

INCENSE AND AROMAS

Use incense and aroma therapy to clear and energize the air around us, including sandalwood, vetivert (khus), champak, frangipani, rose, jasmine, myrrh, loban and other aromas. Havans and Vedic fire offerings are excellent when possible, particularly Agnihotra using ghee and dried cow dung. Fragrances that open the lungs are helpful like eucalyptus, mint, tulsi, basil, and cinnamon, with possible steam therapy (svedana).

PRANAYAMA

Pranayama should be performed morning and evening and during the day, taking not mere coffee breaks but pranayama breaks. Make sure your prana is flowing and circulating within and around you. Use a neti pot or nasya oils to make sure your nostrils are clear and open. Breathe from your belly if you can, also balance your breath between the right and left nostrils. Alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodana is important, inhaling through the right nostril to stimulate the mind, or inhaling through the left nostril to calm the mind.

PRATYAHARA AND SENSORY BREAKS

Make sure to go outside daily where you can see the sky, clouds, moon or stars and exercise your distance and depth vision and your ability to see the subtle colors of nature. Screens are two dimensional and can flatten and depress our minds, reducing our awareness of the third dimension and causing a loss of perspective, making us think in terms of black and white or rigid dichotomies. Screens cause superficial thinking and promote emotional reactions, not deep thinking or contemplation. Artificial light and colors also lack the variations of natural light and color, irritating the eyes and causing the mind to lose its subtle vision. We gain prana through natural sensory impressions but lose it through artificial sensory impressions. Indoors at least have plants, flowers and water basins or fountains nearby where you spend most of your time during the day.

WALKING, HIKING AND YOGA ASANAS

Walking and hiking are very helpful for our entire body and mind, particularly in gardens, by lakes, rivers or the ocean, or in the hills and mountains. Experience yourself as part of nature and nature will give you her grace. Your bodhy belongs to the Earth and your mind belongs to Infinite Space. Experience your Cosmic Self. Yoga asanas are great, particularly if we have to stay indoors, including inverted poses to clear the head, or right and left balancing poses, particularly spinal twists to bring about balance. We must learn to release all tension from our joints and muscles.

NATURAL SENSE OF TOUCH

Learn to touch the ground and dig the soil if you can, as well as being around plants, grass, leaves and branches, even rocks and stones. At least have flowers or plants like tulsi, aloe or ficus around your home or apartment. These are all part of your greater being. Contact with pets is important or being connected to the animals around us like watching the birds. Share therapeutic massage with those you are safe with, particularly using special Ayurvedic massage oils made in a sesame or coconut oil base. Ayurvedic massage oils can be applied to protect the skin and strengthen immunity, countering dryness.

USE OF SACRED SOUND

Mantra, chanting and singing to clear the voice and vibrate the nervous system are excellent and can throw off negative electrical energies that accumulate in our aura. Expansively chant OM repeatedly, or chant deeply OM Namah Shivaya to create inner peace or simply repeat OM Shanti Shanti Shanti. Chant whatever primary mantras you prefer and have energized by your regular practice. Use your voice to vibrate your pranic energy and let it flow throughout your body, mind, home and environment. Do your favorite kirtans and bhajans on a regular basis.

MEDITATION

Above all learn to silence and empty the mind, letting go of all disturbed thoughts, emotions and electrical energies irritating the mind, particularly at night, so that your consciousness and prana can be renewed in deep sleep. Meditate regularly during the day, even only for a few minutes at a time, observing your thoughts and connecting with nature. The silent mind full of space and light within naturally heals itself and promotes positive thinking and deeper awareness. Remember your eternal and infinite Self-nature that pervades the entire universe!